器の教え | Lesson of instruments

ある調律師が言った。「楽器は音を出す器ではなく、聴く器なのです」。| A few years ago I heard a tuner saying in a TV program: Piano is not an instrument to produce the sound, but to hear the sound.

空には聞こえない音が満ちている。それを聞こえる音に変えるのが楽器なのだと。宝積禅師の詩は、その光バージョンということになる。万象があってはじめて月光が見える。万象は光の器なのだ。大は山河大地から、小は一滴の水にいたるまで、光の器でないものはない。さらに風流を好む者は、器を製作してまで中に住もうとする。

見えないものと聞こえないものは、限りなくあるにちがいない。宏智禅師の書に

水清徹底兮 魚行遅々

空闊莫涯兮 鳥飛杳々

という。水清くして底に徹し、魚の行くこと遅し。空闊ひろくして涯て莫し、鳥の飛ぶこと杳はるかなり。その深さは泳ぐ魚の遅さで知られ、その高さは飛ぶ鳥の小ささで知られる。

道元は鳥飛魚行を呼んで「只ざい這裏しゃり」といった。かぎりなく高く深く、只だ這裏ここに在れと。心を無にしている場合ではない。人がただ在ることを、鳥の飛空、魚の水行に匹敵させよ。この身を、水に満ち空に満ちる無限を聴く器とせよ–––と。(正法眼蔵・坐禅箴より)

The air is filled with silent sounds, which musical instruments make audible. Similarly, the light is not visible by itself; it only shows its presence by reflection on the surface of objects. In this sense, objects are the instruments of light. From mountains and oceans to a tiny stone and a drop of water, all the objects on earth are instruments of light. An object can even be designed by architects so that it can display breathtaking lights.

A limitless space may stretch beyond the range of perceptible world. Zen master Hónzhì wrote a passage:

The water is clear to the bottom and a fish is so slow to move.

The sky is high without limit and a bird is so small to be seen.

The water’s depth is shown by the fish’s movement and the sky’s height is known by the smallness of a flying bird.

Dogen equates a flying bird and a moving fish with a sitting human. He/she should just be here as high as a bird can fly, as deep as a fish can go. So zazen is never about emptying the mind, but about the mind that flies and dives so as to be an instrument to make the limitless and the formless into presence. (From “The point of Zazen”, Shobogenzo)

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